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Make chicken soup when you feel under the weather

With the start of the New Year, the cold and flu season comes on at full strength. After all the excitement of the holiday season, I am coming down with a cold. When I was single, I would drag myself to the supermarket to buy ingredients to make ...

With the start of the New Year, the cold and flu season comes on at full strength.
After all the excitement of the holiday season, I am coming down with a cold.
When I was single, I would drag myself to the supermarket to buy ingredients to make chicken soup and pick up a few videos.
I still go to the supermarket and video store, but now I have two children in tow. I often end up buying cans of low-salt chicken soup, and the videos are to entertain my children while I rest in bed.
My husband is wonderful and tries to come home early to take care of the children, but until that time I am watching "Thomas the Tank Engine."
You may have heard the expression "Jewish penicillin," often used to refer to chicken soup. It turns out that there may be some medical basis for it.
In 1984, the Mayo Clinic endorsed the use of chicken soup in soothing cold symptoms. A study was done where people with colds were divided into three groups: one group received chicken soup, another hot water and the third cold water. The group that received the chicken soup felt better sooner than the others.
So, stock up on chicken soup when you start to feel under the weather.
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
6 servings
(I use fun noodles, like alphabets and dinosaurs, to keep my children happy.)
8 cups of chicken stock or canned low salt chicken broth
6 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 stalks of celery, chopped with leaves removed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup small egg noodles
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
In heavy stockpot, bring chicken broth to boil. Place the next five ingredients in stockpot, return to a boil, and lower the heat to simmer. Skim any scum that forms while cooking from the top of the soup. Cook for 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the chicken pieces. Add noodles to pot, bring to boil, and cook as long as instructions indicate.
Meanwhile, remove meat from the bones, cut it into bite-size pieces, and return it to the pot. You may wish to add more chicken broth or water depending on how much liquid the noodles soak up. Salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with chopped up parsley.
Minestrone
Serves 6
(This makes a great one pot meal. You can substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth for a hearty vegetarian dish.)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
5 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
1 cup eggplant, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
4 cups low salt chicken broth
1 can chickpeas drained and well rinsed
1 can kidney beans drained and well rinsed
1 cup small dry pasta (elbows, orzo)
Heat olive oil in large heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add celery, carrot, eggplant, oregano and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini, chicken broth and tomato puree. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chickpeas and kidney beans and simmer for another 5 minutes. Bring the soup to a gentle boil and add pasta. Cook until the pasta is done. Ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Barbara Weinstein is a stay-at-home mom with two children, Andrew, 4, and Leanna, 2. She can reached by e-mail at budgeteer@mx3.com .

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